Super Bowl XLIII Pulls in $206 Million

NBC netted $206 million on yesterday's Super Bowl telecast, NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker told the press. NBC's ad revenue for the full day was $261 million. Both represented record figures for the network. NBC put Super Bowl time up for sale last May at $3 million per 30-second spot. Bloomberg said 12 of the 65 spots sold by last Wednesday went for that price, with the final price range at $2.4 million to $3 million. Fox charged $2.7 million for 30 seconds last year. It ended up netting $186.3 million on a total of 63 spots. NBC ran 69 spots during yesterday's game, its first Super Bowl telecast in 11 years. 

Viewership for yesterday’s Super Bowl slipped after the first half hour, according to early ratings numbers posted at More than 96.5 million viewers (two and older) tuned in for the first half-hour, TVBTN reports. The second half-hour drew about 93.5 million folks, and by the third half-hour of the game, fewer than 86 million folks remained tuned in. The numbers were obtained via “fast-affiliate ratings” data.

The overall game averaged around 86 million viewers total from 7 to 10:30 p.m. EST, theSeattlePost Intelligencerreports.

Last year’s Super Bowl telecast on Fox posted the largest audience ever for the annual event, with more than 97 million people watching, but yielding just a 43.1 household rating--the percentage of all TV households tuning in. The 1982 Super Bowl set the rating record with a 49.1 rating for CBS. Yesterday’s match-up delivered a 42.1.

Early numbers suggest around 84.3 million people were tuned into the last half-hour of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ victory of the Arizona Cardinals. With the exception of one game, Super Bowl viewership has been highest during the fourth quarter since 2002, according to Nielsen.

Ratings also tend to be higher in households with hi-def sets, the New York TV metric specialists said. Last year’s Super Bowl logged a 56.5 in HD capable homes, compared to 43.1 over all.